Start a Club, looking to start a club? Follow these steps:

Start a Club

Thank you for your interest in starting a new club. You may submit a petition to start a club during any of the petition windows posted below.

Recognized Student Organizations (RSOs) enjoy benefits like:

  • use of campus spaces
  • the freedom to promote their organization and events on campus
  • and the opportunity to apply for ASI Club Funding (subject to availability and eligibility).

To start a club...

Step 1: Check for club availability.

Search the Organization Directory to make sure that no other club exists with a similar purpose.

Step 2: Recruit 5 members and an advisor.

  • Find five currently enrolled Cal Poly students who would like to be a part of the club.
  • Find a Cal Poly State University employee who would be willing to serve as the club's advisor.
    Tip: Find the contact information for faculty and staff on your Cal Poly Portal, "Home" tab, "Simple Search."

Step 3: Complete and Submit the Petition and Bylaws

  • Register as a new organization on Cal Poly Now. 
  • Create your organization's bylaws via the Bylaw Builder, available on the Forms tab in Cal Poly Now. The bylaws must be submitted as part of the petition process.

Cal Poly will accept petitions and bylaw submissions during the following dates: 

Petition Timeline 2022-2023

Quarter first day to submit last day to submit
Fall 2022 Monday, September 19, 2022 Friday, October 14, 2022
Winter 2023 Monday, January 9, 2023 Friday, February 3, 2023
Spring 2023 Monday, April 3, 2023

Friday, April 28, 2023

Petitions and bylaws must be submitted on or prior to the last day to submit for consideration during that quarter. All petitioners and the prospective advisor must vote in favor of the petition before the deadline to indicate their support.


Frequently Asked Questions

Why are petitions only accepted during certain times of the year?

Submission timelines allow the Clubs & Organizations Office to investigate petitions and bylaws prior to an evaluation by the RSO Petition Committee.

When will I find out if my petition is accepted?

The RSO Petition committee will spend the two weeks after the deadline researching petitions. Petitioners will be informed if their petition is accepted no later than three (3) weeks after the deadline.

If my petition is accepted, am I good to go?

Once the committee determines your Petition for University Recognition and bylaws are in order, you will receive an email notification to have your President/Primary Contact register the organization through Cal Poly Now. Once the registration is approved, the organization is fully recognized.

How long does the process take?

The process of petitioning for recognition can take up to 10 weeks, depending on how quickly the petitioners respond to questions from the RSO Petition Review Committee and address any concerns.


Sample Timeline:

  • Weeks 1-4: Petitions are accepted and petitioners and prospective advisors vote if they are in favor of the petition.
  • Weeks 5-6: The RSO Petition Review Committee researches the petitions and addresses any concerns to the petitioners.
  • Week 7: The petitioners are informed that their petition is approved however their bylaws require a few changes before approval. 
  • Week 8: The amended bylaws are approved.
  • Week 9: The officers and advisor complete their Officer Training and their eligibility is verified by Clubs & Organizations, the Office of Student Rights & Responsibilities, and the Office of the Registrar. 
  • Week 10: The new organization's registration is approved and the RSO is now fully recognized and able to:
    • Submit E-Plans
    • Apply for ASI Club Sponsorship
    • Create events on Cal Poly Now
    • and much more!

Does your prospective club have clearly defined learning outcomes? Could it have a strong connection to a college or department at Cal Poly? If so, take a look at the criteria for recognition as an Instructionally Related Activity (IRA).

For the average student, a club and an IRA may look similar, but for you as a potential leader of the organization, they would behave differently. Whereas a club can act independently, serving any number of interests, an IRA will work closely with a college or department, benefiting from support in the form of funds, facility use, and supplies. It's a good idea to explore both options before petitioning for recognition because a group cannot occupy dual status as a club and an IRA.

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